Aesthetic Values of Classical Batik as the Source of Contemporary Painting Ideas

Adam Wahida, Endang Sri Handayani, Figur Rahman Fuad

Abstract

As one of the Javanese culture centers, Surakarta is known to have batik tradition that has reached the top of the classical ones. The Surakarta classical batiks have taught the values of ideals, life expectancies, existences, establish-ments, behaviors, glories, and noble guidance as contained in the symbols of classical batik patterns: sidoasih, sidomukti, sidodrajat, which are still used by the people in various traditional ceremonies or important events. The philosophical values within Surakarta classical batiks can be extracted and used as a source of inspiration to create contemporary artworks. Materials that are related to the forms, meanings, norms and values of traditional aesthetics can be developed, explored, and linked to the present life. This research aims to create contemporary artworks with local characters. The creation methods of these works include: exploration, incubation, illumination, and verification/ production. The method is elaborated in several steps: analyzing the documents, determining the ideas and themes of painting, sketching/ creating the designs of the painting, selecting the media and techniques, and producing the painting. This research has produced 3 pieces of contemporary paintings through the development of ideas, themes, and visual forms of classical batik of Surakarta. Visually the paintings are made with a photographic painting technique that considers the aspects of visual illusion such as: perspective, light and shadow, and also chiaroscuro. Philosophically, those works represent aesthetic values of classical batik and contain symbolic meanings that are relevant to the life condition today.

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